Interview: Five Minutes with FAIR GAME

Producer FAIR GAME has premiered his latest track ‘Breathe’ with The Playground on Monday, August 26. ‘Breath’ comes off his EP Ode To My Youth, released August 27th, that features four reflective, downtempo offerings. The atmospheric appeal of the release is perhaps a product of his Cape Town roots, a city known for its slow, easy-going lifestyle. The self-described ‘emotional producer’ has an undeniably keen sensibility that permeates through all his music.

While predominately creating ambient-leaning, downtempo music, we have seen FAIR GAME spread himself across genres to include Hip Hop and ‘futuristic’ inspirations. The result is a musician who has truly refined his own sound but at the same time is not afraid to explore the unexpected.

We got a chance to chat with the Cape Town producer in the wake of his latest release.

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. What are you up to today?

Hey! Thanks for having me. Well, today is a Sunday, so I’m taking it super easy. I went for a skate session earlier and I’m currently chilling in a coffee shop.

Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.

I would say it’s a very supportive community of musicians and music producers. There are lots of creatives and artists of all kinds in Cape Town, which I find really inspiring for my own work. I am also excited to see how streaming platforms will impact the scene as Spotify has only recently come to South Africa. 

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I think I started getting properly into music at around 11 or 12 years old. I remember really getting into the music that was used in games like Need For Speed and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I also discovered some of my favourite songs on skate videos around that time. Although I started playing the guitar on and off from a young age, I got interested in producing music in late high-school, first with DJing and then production around two years later. 

What key pieces of software/gear are you using to define your sound?

I use Ableton as my DAW of choice and I think a lot of its features do have a direct impact on my sound, as I’ve tried a few other DAWs over the years and Ableton seems to work the best for my style. There are also various plugins and Ableton racks I use to get my sound. Along with synths like Massive and Serum, I also really like LABS by Spitfire Audio. I’ve been using that a lot recently.

Ode to My Youth is a deeply personal title, is it more difficult to release material of this nature? Are you concerned with how your music is received?

I find that a personal connection with my music and song titles helps me create more of a story around each release as well as inspires me for how I want to present it visually. I also always want others to find a connection with my music. 

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

I would love to be making a full-time living off of streaming, sample packs, composition and sound design for games and media. I would also like to play at a few international venues.

What are some of your key musical influences? And outside of music?

I listen to a wide range of music but some of my main musical influences at the moment are Bonobo, Helios, Idealism, Kyle McEvoy, Ratatat, SwuM, Kiasmos, Yoste and Bon Iver. I also find a lot of inspiration in movies and series. 

What kind of relationship do you have with the internet? How does this inform your artistic expression?

Overall I love the internet. It’s created opportunities that didn’t exist before. You can build a whole music career which just headphones, a laptop and an internet connection. I have found so much motivation and knowledge from some of my favourite artists through the internet. 

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

If I wasn’t spending time making music, I’d probably be spending that time doing illustration and design. 

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about? 

Alongside the EP, I’ll be uploading some beat videos that give you a glimpse behind the scenes. I’m also dropping a free sample pack for producers to complement it. I took a break from DJing for a while, but I will be doing a few performances in Cape Town again following the release of the EP. I will also be releasing a few more singles this year.

Famous last words?

Make more art. 


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